Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quick Thyme Corn Cobbettes

These little corn cobbettes are cooked entirely in the microwave, first in the husk for just 2-3 minutes (so that they can be quickly and cleanly popped out of the husk), then finished with some fresh thyme and buttery olive oil and given another minute or two in the wave to steam. The result is sweet, fresh and juicy corn that's ready fast and isn't the least bit waterlogged from a vat of boiling water. And 6 ears served this way will stretch to feed 7-9 people easily, without waste.
Use fresh thyme of any kind; this one is lemon thyme.
To begin, do nothing at all to the corn, just give it 3 minutes in the microwave, husk and all. If your wave is powerful enough, heat 5 or 6 ears at once, otherwise do only 2 or 3 at a time. This is the secret to clean easy removal of the husks.
Cut away the stalk end, cutting just above the base of the cob.
Make a 1" slit through the husk in several places around the base.
Grab the tassel end and tap out the corn cob, completely silk-free.
If you've seen any of the YouTube demonstrations for this perfect method for cleanly shucked corn, you may not have realized that the initial microwaving is critical to success! There is no shaking that corn free if you try this method on a raw piece of corn; unfortunately some instructionals leave out the essential microwave step.
To produce cobbettes without crushing any of the kernels, it's best to use a serrated knife and saw a little way into the cob wherever you want it to break. It will easily pop apart. I remove the tip end as well where the kernels are sparse. 
For a healthier alternative to butter, look for butter infused olive oil in larger groceries or specialty shops such as Flavored Oil and Vinegar stores which are prevalent these days in most cities. If you can't find the buttery flavored EVOO, use a mild one with a flavor you like and drizzle just enough to very lightly coat the corn when tossed together. 

Finally, add the fresh thyme, as much as you like. Unlike the dried version, these little leaves are bright and light flavored and you can use plenty. The leaves strip away easiest if you pull the stem through your fingers backward, that is in the opposite direction that the leaves grow. (Discard the stems.)
Now, to the microwave one more time, just 2 minutes more sealed under a tight wrap to create a little steam chamber. You can save this step until the last minute if you've done the rest ahead of time and serve these babies up hot and steamy. 

SummerSoiree is on at the Food Network blogsite! Stay tuned each week for fresh ideas for your finds at the Farmer's Market or delicious dishes for picnics and parties all summer long. Get more recipes here from friends and family:

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